AKA Patricia Kotero
Birthplace: Santa Monica, CA
Race or Ethnicity: Multiracial
Sexual orientation: Straight
Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Former Prince protégé
One of several female performers that were stripped down to their underpants and handed a (usually short-lived) record career by Prince in the 1980s, Patricia Kotero initially pursued fame and fortune via work as both an actress and a model. After winning the Miss San Pedro beauty competition and a stint cheerleading for the Los Angeles Rams, in the early 80s Kotero began finding small roles in both low-budget films and high-brow television programs such as CHiPs, Tales of the Gold Monkey, Fantasy Island, Matt Houston and Knight Rider; this ultimately led to her participating in auditions held by Prince to replace a defecting Denise Matthews (Vanity) on the cast of his first film Purple Rain (1984). Renamed Apollonia by her tiny purple mentor, the struggling actress suddenly found herself in one of the most popular films of the year, starring opposite one of the biggest performers of the decade.
In addition to replacing Vanity in the film, Kotero was also picked to replace her as frontwoman for the exploitation pop band Vanity 6, which also featured supporting vamps Brenda Bennett and Susan Moonsie. Duly re-named Apollonia 6, the new trio wasted no time in landing a crossover hit in the form of the cheeky single Sex Shooter -- although largely as a result of the still-raging media circus centered around Purple Rain. This success was predictably short-lived, however, as Prince's interests began to drift elsewhere and the young actress soon tired of her role as one of his accessories. Still retaining the "Apollonia" moniker, she returned her focus to acting and landed a supporting role in the TV movie The Mystic Warrior (1984); this was followed by a ten-week recurring role on the soap opera Falcon's Crest (1985-86), in which she essentially portrayed herself and occasionally performed musical numbers within the context of the story.
In 1988 Apollonia sought to revive her career in music by issuing an eponymous solo album through the hideous Warner Brothers conglomorate, home of her previous, Prince-directed efforts. Aimed at the dance music crowd, the album and its two singles Mismatch and Since I Fell For You largely missed, and Kotero subsequently abandoned recording until 1997's bilingual effort Stay With Me. At the close of the 80s she resumed her acting work through roles in low-profile American films -- Ministry of Vengeance (1989), Back to Back (1990), Black Magic Woman (1991) -- and a couple of Italian productions -- La Donna di una Sera (1991), Cattive Ragazze (1992) -- before returning to television later in the decade on shows such as Sliders, Air America, and even hosting The Jazz Channel's Latin Beat program. During this period an excerise video (encouragingly titled Go For It) was also released. At the close the 90s, Kotero began preparing to move her industry involvement behind the camera, and took time to earn a degree in filmmaking.
Husband: Greg Patschull ("Kazja", m. 16-Feb-1980 in Long Beach, div. 1985)
Boyfriend: Prince (musician)
Boyfriend: David Lee Roth (musician)
Husband: Kevin Bernhardt (actor, m. 1988, div. 1996)
Apollonia 6 Vocalist (1984-85)
Beauty Contest Miss San Pedro
FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Black Magic Woman (24-Apr-1991)
Purple Rain (27-Jul-1984) · Apollonia
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